Just say those two words and I immediately perk up.
So creamy, thick, and oh-so-spreadable. It’s tangy, yet still mild enough to smear on just about anything in need of a little decadence.
So, when I spied the recipe for “Cream Cheese Cookies,” it gave me the perfect excuse to buy a brick.
It’s one of 60 recipes you’ll find in the new “Food52 Baking” (Ten Speed Press). It’s, of course, by the editors of Food52, the online cooking resource, and kitchen and home shop, founded by Amanda Hesser, formerly of the New York Times, and Merrill Stubbs in 2009.
All the recipes have been curated by Hesser and Stubbs, who have culled home-spun favorites, the types of baked goods that don’t require special equipment or days to make. They are the types of treats you don’t have to talk yourself into making, and ones that you are sure to make again and again. Think “Yogurt Biscuits,” “Honey Pecan Cake,” and “Nectarine Slump.” For good measure, there are a couple of savories, too, such as “Black Pepper Popovers with Chives and Parmesan” and “Basil Onion Cornbread.”
Stubbs writes in the book that her mother got this cookie recipe at a Tupperware party in the 1970s.
I can see that, as these cookies would be right at home for a girl’s-night-in or a bridal shower. There’s something delicate about them yet also comforting.
There are only five ingredients in this super simple drop cookie recipe. It calls for a butter that’s not super-charged with a high fat content. That surprised me — until I took a bite. These are simple looking cookies that are deceptively rich. A premium high-fat butter would be too much for them.
They bake up up incredibly chewy — my favorite cookie texture — almost like that of a coconut macaroon, despite the fact there’s no coconut in them at all. They have a very buttery mouth-feel, and an ever slight tang from the cream cheese. It’s like a cheesecake in cookie form.
The recipe cautions not to over-bake the cookies or they won’t be chewy. I would also caution not to under-bake them or else they will be under-done in the center. You want to take them out when the edges turn a fairly toasty brown, not merely slightly golden.
Let them cool completely before eating. The texture is best that way.
I know it’s hard to wait that long when there is cream cheese involved.
But your patience will be deliciously rewarded.
Cream Cheese Cookies
(Makes about 24 cookies)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (preferably a less expensive one with a high water content and a low fat content, like Land O’Lakes), at room temperature
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper
Put the butter, cream cheese, and sugar in a large bowl. Using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the flour and salt and mix just until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and give the batter a quick stir with a spoon to make sure everything is evenly mixed.
Drop the batter by the heaping tablespoon onto the lined baking sheets, spacing each one about 1 1/2 inches apart to allow for spreading.
Bake for about 12 to 14 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Don’t overbake, or the cookies won’t be chewy.
Let cool slightly on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
From “Food52 Baking” by the Editors of Food52”
More Cream Cheesy Good Recipes: Dorie Greenspan’s Blueberry-Corn Tart
And: Sardine Rillettes